The History Of Invisalign: Learn More About This Clear Braces Alternative!

The History Of Invisalign: Learn More About This Clear Braces Alternative!

Invisalign was the first clear aligner system for orthodontic correction, and this treatment has been around for about 20 years. At Honest Teeth, we love Invisalign and many patients ask about the history of this revolutionary treatment. Here’s everything you need to know about Invisalign and its space in modern dentistry:

The Man Behind Invisalign – Zia Chishti

The man who invented Invisalign wasn’t a dentist at all! His name was Zia Chishti, and he majored in Computer Science and Economics at Columbia University, then went to Stanford to complete his MBA. During his post-graduate years, he underwent orthodontic treatment with braces.

During his treatment with metal braces, he envisioned clear, removable plastic appliances that would allow patients to shift their teeth without highly visible braces. He worked on this project in his dorm room, eventually creating the first version of what would become Invisalign. 

The History Of Invisalign – From Early Beginnings To Today 

Along with three other students, he refined the product further, and Invisalign began in 1997 with the founding of Align Technology, LTD.

The devices were approved by the FDA in 1998, and Invisalign hit the market. By 2000, the company had raised more than $140 million in venture capital. By January 2001, the company was valued at more than $1 billion on the NASDAQ.

Over the last two decades, Invisalign products have been refined, with new treatments like Invisalign Express 10, Invisalign G3 and G4, and Invisalign Express 5. In 2007, the Academy of General Dentistry approved Align Technology’s PACE (Program Approval for Continuing Education) program, and the company founded the AlignTech Institute, which provides education and resources for dentists using Invisalign. Today, Invisalign is still the most popularly-used system of clear plastic aligners on the market. 

See If Invisalign Is Right For You – Come To Honest Teeth Today! 

Want to learn more about Invisalign treatment, and see if this revolutionary alternative to braces is right for you? To learn more and get started, contact the team at Honest Teeth today! You can give us a call at (262) 784-7770, or stop by our office at 15255 Watertown Plank Road, Suite 100, Elm Grove, WI 53122. Dr. Meinerz and Dr. Krueger are always accepting new patients, and we’d love to meet you and help you learn more about orthodontic treatment with Invisalign.

Teeth Whitening for National Coffee Day: Answering Common Whitening FAQS!

Teeth Whitening for National Coffee Day: Answering Common Whitening FAQS!

Studies show that half of all American adults drink at least one cup of coffee per day, so we know that many of our patients will be celebrating National Coffee Day with a cup of joe (or three!) However, we also know that coffee habits can result in tooth stains. Fortunately, the team at Honest Teeth is here with helpful recommendations and professional whitening treatments to keep your smile looking its best! 

Here are a few things to keep in mind on National Coffee Day when it comes to your favorite caffeinated beverage and your teeth:

Why Does Coffee Stain My Teeth? 

Your teeth are very strong and hard, but they also porous, which means that certain compounds and substances can get trapped in them. Essentially, this is how coffee stains teeth. The dark “tannins” responsible for the flavor and color of coffee can get stuck onto your enamel and over time, this builds up into a stain.

Coffee can also discolor plaque. Plaque is a clear, sticky substance made of oral bacteria, and while it’s normally colorless, it can be stained by dark beverages. Thankfully, plaque can be removed with proper brushing and flossing, so it doesn’t cause long-term stains. 

How Can I Keep My Teeth White While Drinking Coffee?

Use a straw! When you drink coffee through a straw, you’ll be able to avoid direct contact with your teeth. This, in turn, prevents tannins from sitting on your enamel and causing stains. If you want to prevent coffee stains without eliminating your daily cup of coffee from your routine, this is the best option.

You can also rinse your teeth with water or mouthwash after drinking coffee, then brush after 15-30 minutes. It’s not a good idea to brush right after drinking coffee, because it’s acidic. Acid weakens your enamel, so vigorous brushing after drinking coffee could damage your teeth. 

Will Teeth Whitening Remove Coffee Stains?

Yes! Teeth whitening works on almost any external tooth stain, including stains from drinking coffee, tea, wine, and soda. If your teeth are stained due to your coffee habit, teeth whitening is a great solution. 

How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?

This mostly depends on how well you care for your teeth after whitening. Some patients will keep their bright, white smile for up to 3 years, but a range of between 1-2 years is more typical. Taking steps like brushing and flossing properly, seeing Dr. Meinerz or Dr. Krueger for six-month cleanings, and using a peroxide-based whitening toothpaste can help you keep your teeth bright. 

Does Teeth Whitening Have Any Side Effects?

The only common side effect of professional teeth whitening is minor tooth sensitivity, which may last for a few days after your treatment. Using a toothpaste for sensitive teeth like Sensodyne can help reduce any discomfort caused by whitening.

Celebrate National Coffee Day With Teeth Whitening – Call Now! 

If you love coffee but your daily cup has resulted in stained teeth, don’t worry. With an in-office or take-home whitening treatment from Dr. Max Meinerz or Dr. Kyle Krueger, you can get the treatment you need to restore your smile. Contact us now at (262) 784-7770, or stop by our office at 15255 Watertown Plank Road, Suite 100, Elm Grove, WI 53122 for more information.

5 Benefits Of Porcelain Veneers

5 Benefits Of Porcelain Veneers

If you’re unhappy with your smile and you’re considering cosmetic dentistry in Elm Grove, veneers are a versatile option that can enhance the shape and color of your teeth. Veneers have many unique benefits when compared to other treatments, and we’re here to give you all the information you need to help you decide whether this procedure is right for you. Here are the top 5 benefits of porcelain veneers:

1. Veneers Are Minimally-Invasive

The veneer placement process only requires the removal of a very thin (usually 0.5mm or less) layer of enamel from each tooth that is receiving a veneer. This enamel is removed to make sure that your veneers fit perfectly. Your mouth will be numbed before the process begins, and treatment doesn’t hurt a bit. Your teeth may be a little bit sensitive afterward, but this goes away quickly. 

Most patients do not need to be sedated during this process, but we also can offer sedation dentistry services during your appointment if you’re nervous, or think you would feel more comfortable. 

2. Veneers Require No Special Care

To care for your veneers, just brush and floss normally, and see Dr. Krueger or Dr. Meinerz for a regular 6-month checkup. That’s it!

To maximize the lifespan of your veneers, you should also avoid chewing or biting hard foods or non-food objects with your veneers. You should also not use your teeth as tools to do things like open bags or packages. If you grind your teeth, a nightguard can prevent damage to your veneers from clenching and grinding. Follow these tips, and your veneers will look great for years.

3. Veneers Last Longer Than Dental Bonding 

Dental bonding uses resin to reshape your teeth. It’s inexpensive and effective, but usually does not last as long as veneers. Bonding usually has a maximum lifespan of about 10 years, while veneers can easily last 15+ years with proper care. Veneers are also completely stain-resistant, so they will look bright and beautiful long after treatment.

4. Veneers Are Versatile And Can Restore Almost Any Cosmetic Flaw

If you have gaps in your smile, small or misshapen teeth, a tooth with a minor chip, or serious stains that can’t be treated with teeth whitening, veneers can help with all of these issues and more. Veneers are one of the most versatile cosmetic treatments available. 

5. Veneers Can Be Placed In Just 2 Short Appointments

It only takes 2 short, 1-2 hour appointments over a period of about 2-3 weeks to have your veneers made and placed. In less than a month, you can completely restore your smile and your confidence. 

Interested in Veneers? Schedule A Cosmetic Consultation! 

At Honest Teeth, both Dr. Max Meinerz and Dr. Kyle Krueger are experienced cosmetic dentists. If you want to restore your smile in Elm Grove, we’re here to help. To get started, just schedule a cosmetic consultation now at (262) 784-7770, or stop by our office at 15255 Watertown Plank Road, Suite 100, Elm Grove, WI 53122. 

During your consultation, Dr. Krueger or Dr. Meinerz will examine your mouth and explore all of your options for cosmetic treatment, including porcelain veneers. Take the first step toward your dream smile today! 

How To Floss Your Back Teeth: Your Complete Guide

How To Floss Your Back Teeth: Your Complete Guide

If you’re brushing your teeth without flossing, you’re leaving the job half-finished! While brushing is a great way to remove plaque, tartar, food debris, and oral bacteria, it is not enough to completely clean your mouth on its own.

This is because a simple brushing cannot reach in-between the teeth. Flossing is the only way to remove plaque and bacteria from areas in between your gums and teeth. This is often a challenge for many patients, particularly when it comes to flossing your back teeth. Here are a few tips and tricks from the team at Honest Teeth that will make flossing your molars a bit easier:

Start With The Proper Length Of Dental Floss And Good Technique

Proper flossing technique is critical for cleaning your rear molars. To floss, you’ll want to dispense about 18-24 inches of dental floss from your container. Then, wrap the ends around your index and middle fingers.

Pull the floss between each of your teeth in a “sawing” motion to dislodge debris and clean the surface of the tooth. Need an example? This video from eHowhealth provides a great visual of proper flossing technique.

Use A Longer Piece Of Floss To Reach Your Back Teeth 

When it’s time to move onto your rear teeth, it can be helpful to use a slightly longer piece of floss. Unwind the floss from your fingers somewhat, so that you can use the longer length for more maneuverability. 

Consider A Floss Pick If You’re Having Trouble With Your Rear Teeth 

If you are having trouble flossing your back teeth due to issues with manual dexterity or a strong gag reflex, a floss pick may be a viable alternative to traditional floss.

Floss picks use a hard, plastic head with a piece of floss stretched between its two tips, and they have been proven to be nearly as effective as traditional floss at safeguarding the health of your gums, so they are a viable alternative if you are struggling with proper flossing technique.

A Water Flosser May Also Be A Good Option 

Water flossers, such as the widely-known WaterPik, have been proven to be very effective at removing plaque from the teeth. If you are having problems flossing your rear teeth with traditional dental floss or a floss pick, a water flosser may be a good option for you. 

Flossing Is Better Than Not Flossing, No Matter How You Do It! 

Whether you use traditional dental floss, floss picks, or even a water flosser like the WaterPik, the most important thing to do is floss regularly with your chosen product. Regular flossing along with proper brushing is the single best way to protect your oral health.

Have more questions about flossing? Contact us now to speak with our knowledgeable team or schedule an appointment with Dr. Meinerz or Dr. Krueger. Give us a call now at (262) 784-7770 to get started, or stop by our office at 15255 Watertown Plank Road, Suite 100, Elm Grove, WI 53122.

5 Ways To Protect Your Children From Cavities

5 Ways To Protect Your Children From Cavities

According to the CDC, cavities are the single most common preventable childhood illness, and around 42% of children develop at least one cavity in their permanent teeth. At Honest Teeth, we want to make sure parents are well-informed and equipped with the knowledge they need to care for their child’s teeth and ensure that they remain cavity-free. Here are 5 ways to prevent cavities from developing in little teeth:

1. Encourage Proper Brushing and Flossing Habits

Your child should be brushing their teeth 2-3 times per day for at least 2 minutes. Ideally, they should brush once in the morning and once at night, at a minimum. Until your child is about 6 years old, or dexterous enough to tie their own shoes, you’ll have to brush their teeth for them.

In addition, flossing is also necessary to help prevent cavities. It can remove food debris and plaque that is not accessible with brushing. Floss your child’s teeth once per day until they can start flossing on their own, usually around the age of 10.

2. Watch Their Diet – Avoid Sugar, Acid, and Simple Carbohydrates

Sugary drinks and foods, like soda, juice, and candy are extremely bad for your child’s teeth. Oral bacteria feasts on the sugary residue which encourages acid growth. More acid equals more cavities! Simple carbohydrates, like starches from potato chips, can also encourage bacterial growth and lead to cavities. When possible, help your child to avoid sugary snacks and drinks, and encourage a fiber-rich diet with plenty of complex carbohydrates.  

3. Come to Honest Teeth for Six-Month Checkups

Dr. Meinerz and Dr. Krueger at Honest Teeth will ensure that your child’s mouth is healthy. During routine checkups, our team will clean your child’s teeth thoroughly, eliminating plaque and tartar from hard-to-reach areas of their mouth. We’ll also check for signs of cavities and address any issues before they become bigger problems.

4. Consider Fluoride Treatment

At its most minor stage, tooth decay is reversible. This stage of tooth decay is called a “soft spot” and occurs when the enamel of the tooth starts to weaken but hasn’t completely formed a cavity yet.

A fluoride treatment is usually delivered after an oral exam and consists of a fluoride-rich gel that is painted onto your child’s teeth. Fluoride encourages weakened teeth to remineralize and become stronger, which can reverse minor tooth decay and prevent a cavity from forming.

5. Think About Dental Sealants

If your child is cavity-prone, dental sealants can help protect their teeth. Dental sealants consist of a special plastic resin that is painted onto your child’s rear molars, then hardened with a UV light. After it is hardened, the resin forms a protective barrier that prevents acid and bacteria from coming in direct contact with the treated teeth, preventing cavity formation for up to 10 years.

Keep Little Smiles Healthy – Come To Honest Teeth Today!

Whether you think your child may have a cavity, or you just need preventive care to ensure their mouth stays healthy, Dr. Meinerz and Dr. Krueger of Honest Teeth are here to help. To get started and schedule an appointment, just contact us at (262) 784-7770, or stop by our office in Elm Grove at 15255 Watertown Plank Road, Suite 100, Elm Grove, WI 53122.